2017 Ferrari F12 TDF
The tdf—which is an allusion to the old Tour de France Ferraris even though we can't actually call it a Tour de France since the bicycle race owns the trademark—is intended to be the highest performance production-based Ferrari ever. And in order to meet that target, the engineers gave the tdf an extra dose of everything. It has 770 horsepower from its 6.3-liter V12, weighs 220 pounds less than the stock F12, and runs a 1:21 around Ferrari's private Fiorano race track—a full two seconds faster than the F12 with its paltry, almost Dodge-like 730 horsepower.
The engine revs to 8900 rpm, so high that the hydraulic lifters have been replaced with lighter mechanical tappets, and it has a variable intake that isn't on the F12. The result is an engine that has 80 percent of its maximum 520 pound-feet of torque available from 2500 rpm and sounds like a banshee when you let it run to redline. Ferrari says it's the most extreme V12 it's made that isn't in a super-limited-production hypercar like the LaFerrari.
Then there's the latest iteration of Ferrari's dual-clutch gearbox upshifts 30 percent quicker and downshifts 40 percent quicker than in the regular F12. Those are improvements over shifts that were already lightning eye blink-fast, so we can't perceive the increase in speed as much as the increase in aggression—it isn't as smooth as the shifts in the F12. It also has shorter gearing for increased acceleration, but top speed remains the same at more than 210 mph.
That this isn't a friendly car continues to instill Ferrari with some of that intimidating mystique that the brand has earned since it was founded. A supercar with 770 horsepower shouldn't be easy to drive. The driver shouldn't expect to immediately be an expert. It should be a challenge. The F12tdf is that challenge. -Road and Track
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